(Side 1)(Continued on other side)(Side 2)
The Hawkshaw site has supported prehistoric and historic occupations which span a period of nearly 2,000 years. It was inhabited around A.D. 150 by groups of Native Americans whom archaeologists call the Deptford Culture. Scientific excavation of the site revealed hundreds of trash pits containing food remains and household debris which provided detailed information about the daily life of these prehistoric people. They sustained themselves with the abundant marine resources available in the area.
Hawkshaw is important to archaeologists because the remains of the Deptford Culture are not mixed with those of other Native American cultures. For this reason the site gives a very good indication of what life was like during Deptford times.
The next time the site was used was the middle of the 18th Century when the Spanish built a brick kiln here before 1761. A little later, during the British occupation of Pensacola (1763-1783), a complex known as the Governor's Villa was built nearby for Peter Chester, Governor of the Province of West Florida. The Villa was burned in 1781 by the troops of General Bernardo de Galvez during his recapture of Pensacola for the Spanish.
(Continued from other side)After Florida was acquired by the United States in 1821, Hawkshaw became part of a plan to create a "New City" to serve the railroad industry. The New City Hotel was built in 1836 with over 100 rooms. It remained in operation into the 1840's. After the failure of the "New City", Hawkshaw evolved into a working class neighborhood whose residents were largely employed by the industrial and commercial establishments associated with lumbering and the railroad. It became the first of Pensacola's outlying black neighborhoods.
Hawkshaw's waterfront once contained Wright's Lumber Mill, which could cut 30,000 board feet of lumber a day in 1882, and the Muscogee Wharf, which served as a coaling station for the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. After the destruction of Wright's Mill during the 1906 hurricane and the decline of the lumber and railroad industries, many of the residents of Hawkshaw became "baymen" who earned their living by loading ships, fishing and gathering shellfish.